SASKATOON — A Saskatoon woman who admitted to driving drunk when she caused a crash that killed a couple and their two young children has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Catherine McKay pleaded guilty last month to four counts of impaired driving causing death.
Court heard the 49-year-old had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit when she crashed into the Van de Vorsts' vehicle on Jan. 3 as it crossed Highway 11 just north of Saskatoon.
Jordan Van de Vorst, who was 34, and his 33-year-old wife, Chanda, died at the scene, while their children, Kamryn, 5, and her two-year-old brother, Miguire, died in hospital.
McKay was driving 120 kilometres per hour
Crown prosecutor Michael Pilon said McKay was driving 120 kilometres per hour at the time and had more than six drinks before attempting the drive home that night.
Staff at one bar offered her a ride when she tried to leave, but she refused. She went to another bar and sang karaoke before being cut off from ordering additional drinks, Pilon said.
Family members and friends of the Van de Vorsts struggled to hold back tears during Wednesday's sentencing hearing. About a dozen victim impact statements were read.
"In a big way, I've lost my joy of life."
"I have been given four life sentences with no chance of parole ever,'' said Jordan's mother, Linda Van de Vorst.
Lou Van de Vorst said he won't be able to hug his son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren, or tell them he loves them.
"In a big way, I've lost my joy of life,'' he told court.
"Sorry is a word that is overused. It's often misused. It can't begin to express the sorrow in my heart ... I have thought about this tragedy every day,'' she said through tears.
McKay acknowledged that nothing can take back what she did, and she said the only way she will be able to live with herself will be to become an anti-drunk driving advocate.
Banned from driving for 12 years
Judge Barry Singer accepted a joint submission from the Crown and defence, and with time served, McKay has nine years and two months left to serve.
She is also banned from driving for 12 years after her release.
The company Jordan Van de Vorst worked for said after the crash that more than 50 people received transplants through organ donations from the family.
(CKOM, CTV Saskatoon)
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